Top Tip #15 (Tent Packing)
When I started my backpacking career I was given a legendary book for Christmas. It was called The Backpacker's Handbook and it soon became my bible. It had lots of great information in and as well as spurring me to try every weight saving option I could find, it also taught me the importance of good organisation.
One bit of equipment that has always seemed tricky to deal with when backpacking has been the tent. It works fine to pack it all together if conditions are very dry but on most of my UK trips there always seems to be either heavy dew or rain to soak the fly sheet. This means packing it separately is the best option so, when you put the tent up at your next site, at least the inner is still dry.
Over recent years I think I've nailed a great solution. I simply started packing the inner and outer into separate small dry bags which meant that I always kept the dry inner away from the wet fly sheet. It was also easier to pack them into my rucksack if they were separated into smaller bags and could be tucked into nooks and crannies.
Now, the wet parts of the tent don't get other items in my rucksack wet and I can also store my poles stood up down the inside of my rucksack main compartment. I still take the peg bag as that helps keep the messy spikes away from other clean kit.
To help identify the flysheet and inner I have written the letters 'I' and 'F' on each drybag but I've also since thought that different coloured dry bags may be a better solution when I'm trying to find them in the depths of my rucksack in a snowstorm. You could even buy ones to match the colours of your inner and fly sheet to make identifying which is which a cinch.
Now, my flysheet may get damp but I'm still smiling when I get to the next campsite!
Posted by Paul